The title seems appropriate. My friend Ben Kastl suggests “Value is overvalued” after a conversation that begins with the now commonplace “I see you more active on social media”.
This is one of the meetings that we periodically organise at the Mallorca Entrepreneurs Hub.
And yes, I am certainly more active on social media.
This is part of a strategy.
You have to be present in the mind of your potential client. So that they remember you when the need arises.
As you don’t know when the need will arise, you always have to be present.
So I try to publish content on my blog.
Ideally I would like to publish daily.
(I never really make it, but at least a couple of times a week).
And I republish this content from my blog on social networks.
Because no one is going to bother logging in every day to see if I’ve posted anything on my blog.
But, if you’re reading this, you usually do check one of the social networks on a daily basis. So if I post something you might see it. And if you’re interested, you might even read it 😉.
The question then is, what can I post on a very frequent basis?
The social media gurus, even just looking at articles that catch my attention, suggest that I need to post valuable content.
The famous “10 keys to [whatever it is]”, “How to build [what you’re trying to achieve]”, “10 examples of [whatever it is you’re looking for] that you need to see”.
It’s clear that this type of content solves your clients’ problems, can help you to be found by potential clients who don’t know you yet, and provides a lot of value.
But they have two problems:
On the one hand there is a lot, tons, of online material like this. There is a lot of competition.
How many articles do you think there are on Google about “building a chicken coop”? I’ll save you the query. 58,600,600 results it says right now.
I have no idea how many people might be interested in building a chicken coop. I personally am not interested at all. What I do know is that you can spend a couple of lifetimes reading articles explaining how to do it.
A couple of human lives. Not chickens.
So the job is not only to write interesting material but also to study SEO, marketing, psychology, learn how to record videos and many other things to be able to stand out in the world of those interested in chicken coops.
On the other hand, writing this kind of content requires a lot of work.
At least the way I usually do it.
First I have to look for a need that my potential customer may have.
A need that I know and can solve and that is aligned with the services I can offer.
In other words, if I sell chicken wire mesh, I’m not going to write an article about types of feed for chickens. Even though that might also be of interest to my potential customer.
Then the work becomes, in my case, like publishing a doctoral thesis. I have to write the world’s best article on poultry house construction. The one that Google will put at the top of the first page. The one that 98% of those who do that search will read.
Then I will read the first 5 pages of Google results, I will add my small contribution, I will look for references and I will link them to show that this technique of building chicken coops is not the best because I say so but because it is based on scientific studies of the space that each hen needs, that you have to separate the area for eggs from the area for food and I don’t know how many other things (I guess you can tell that I have no idea about chickens).
Then you have to write it down, reread it, say it out loud to see if it sounds right.
And at the end of this whole process we’ll have the 58,600,001st Google result for “build a chicken coop”.
As I said in the title “Value is overrated”. It is clear that you have to give value to the customers who pay for your services. It’s a fair exchange: value for money.
And you have to give value for free to get visibility. To be known by new clients and/or to be remembered by those who already know you.
But when your objective, the important part of your work, is based on generating free value, you have to question things.
Value has to be given in the right measure. Value (for free) is overvalued.
Are you giving value, are you getting a good return on your investment?
And, by the way, has this article provided you with anything of value? (Even if it is not a doctoral thesis)